A thigh lift (thighplasty) is an invasive cosmetic surgery that removes excess skin and fat from the thigh area.
Perhaps the most common reason for a thigh lift is to help reshape and smooth the thigh area after losing weight. Some people also opt for the procedure to gain more shapeliness and to feel more comfortable wearing swimsuits, shorts, and jeans.
If you’re considering this procedure after weight loss, doctors recommend that you’re at a steady weight for at least 6 months and that you’ve already achieved your goal weight. This is because weight fluctuations can interfere with results post-thigh lift surgery.
Why it's done
This operation is performed to address the problem of loosening and sagging skin in the thigh area of the body caused by excess weight gain and loss or aging.
What are the different types of thigh lifts?
Thigh lifts remove excess skin and fat, but there are different types that are achieved via different incisions. Your provider will help you choose the best surgery to meet your individual needs. Below are the different types of thigh lifts to consider.
Inner (medial) thigh lift
A medial thigh lift is the most common form of this cosmetic surgery. It addresses sagging skin in your inner thighs via an incision from your groin down toward your knee or toward the back of your thigh area.
Mini thigh lift
Depending on your individual needs, your surgeon may determine that you qualify for a mini thigh lift. This procedure requires fewer incisions than other types of thigh lifts, only involving an incision in your groin area. It works well if you’re wanting to focus on the upper-inner part of your thigh only.
Outer (bilateral) thigh lift
An outer thigh lift addresses the outside portions of your thighs. The procedure involves an incision that starts in you groin area, then extends outward to your hip and lower back area.
Vertical thigh lift
If you’re looking to address a lot of excess skin in all areas of your thighs, you may consider a vertical thigh lift. It requires larger incisions that extend down to your knees. However, due to a higher risk for complicationsTrusted Source, your surgeon may not recommend this type of thigh lift.
Lift with liposuction
In some cases, the thigh area may have poor skin elasticity. Your surgeon may recommend liposuction in addition to thigh lift surgery to help remove excess fat cells and prevent sagging skin.
What is the recovery like ?
Before you go home from your operation, your surgeon will place dressings against the incisions to help ease swelling. They may also insert a tube to help drain excess blood and fluids from the area. You’ll need to make a follow-up appointment to have your surgeon remove these items.
Like other cosmetic surgeries, thigh lifts are considered major procedures and you’ll need to take time off work to recover.
You’ll likely experience pain, bruising, and swelling for a few days after the procedure. You should notice more contour to your thighs right away, but you won’t see full results for several months.
Any worsening pain or the onset of bleeding through sutures or dressings should be addressed with your doctor right away. You should also see your doctor if you experience:
- wound separation
How long before you see results?
In general, you’ll need several weeks to recover from thigh lift surgery, so you should plan your work schedule accordingly. You’ll also need to refrain from any heavy lifting and strenuous exercises for at least 6 weeks after your procedure.
You’ll want to elevate your legs as much as possible during this time, and you may be able to go outside after a few days. It’s normal for the ankles to swell as you gradually move around more.
Once healed, there may be scars from where your surgeon made incisions to remove excess skin around your thighs. However, when done by an experienced surgeon, the scars shouldn’t be very noticeable to others, especially if they’re placed in inconspicuous areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Liposhaping not enough to reshape inner thigh region?
Liposhaping means reshaping by fat removal and fat administration. It will not be enough on its own to improve the skin that has lost its elasticity and sagged.
Can liposuction be performed with this surgery?
In the case of patients with a high amount of fat in thigh region, the operation can be planned in the form of two individual sessions. First, excess fat is removed by liposuction, then the sagging skin is reshaped by thigh lift surgery, hence the operation is completed.
Will there be any scar left after thigh lift surgery?
The suture marks are concealed in body folds, like the groin, so that they remain under the underwear. These marks fade away over time and become hardy noticeable.
Is it not possible to prevent thigh sagging using medications and creams?
A certain amount of tightening can be achieved with special creams or medications but they cannot entirely resolve sagging.
Does thigh lift operation give permanent results?
The results of the thigh stretch surgery are permanent, except in the following cases:
If you continue to lose weight, sagging pockets on the skin will continue to form.
If you're likely to gain and lose weight quickly, the already thinned skin will be exposed to more stretching and accordingly, the skin stretch marks and large scars will become visible
Is there any age limit about this operation?
Adults of all ages without any risky medical condition whose weight loss has become stable and who has realistic expectations from body reshaping operation can have this operation.
Can I do sports after surgery?
About one month after surgery, you can start doing sports.
Does the leg sag again after surgery?
If you gain and lose excessive weight and fail to adopt a healthy lifestyle, you'll be likely to have sagging in leg skin again.